By TAP Integrative

Cystic fibrosis is a lung disease that affects approximately one in 2,500 births. It is one of the most common life-threatening, genetically inherited disease in the U.S. Cystic fibrosis causes cycles of infection and inflammation in the lungs which contribute to progressive deterioration in lung function, eventually leading to mortality. These cyclic infections result in an accumulation of white blood cells in the airways, which lead to the production of thick mucus that plugs the smaller airways and further contributes to inflammation and infection.

Anti-inflammatory drugs can provide some benefit to people with cystic fibrosis. Researchers have also investigated whether omega-3 fatty acids can act as natural anti-inflammatories and provide similar effects. Results have been mixed. In 2013, a review was published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews that looked at the results of four small studies of omega-3s and cystic fibrosis. The studies, which included a total of 91 participants, compared omega-3 supplements to placebo. One of the studies reported an improvement in both lung function and clinical status, as well as a reduction in sputum production, in those taking omega 3s. Two other studies found changes in people taking omega-3s: significant increases in the essential fatty acid content of the white blood cells, as well as increases in the levels of phospholipids in the blood. None of the studies found any significant adverse effects.

The authors of the review concluded that supplementing with omega-3s may provide some benefits to people with cystic fibrosis. They did not, however, find enough evidence from the four studies they reviewed to recommend routine usage of omega-3s for the condition. More extensive trials are needed to determine the effects of omega-3s on cystic fibrosis and to establish the most effective dosages.



Oliver C, Watson H. Omega-3 fatty acids for cystic fibrosis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2013;11:CD002201.


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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.